Adelie and Staley's World

Adelie and Staley's World

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas Letter

*My annual disclaimer:  Yes, many of you have already read and received this letter.  But since this is our family archive, I like to post it here as well.  Feel free to skip and check back another day when I'm not posting old news.

2016 was a big year for the Sancken family.  One of us learned to walk and talk.  One of us started pre-school.  One of us started Kindergarten.  One of us set a new personal record for number of miles run in a single year.  One of us discovered a talent for determining when a screaming child in the other room actually requires immediate attention.  Two of us mostly just shed and slept and hid from the kids and coughed up hairballs.  Two of us realized that a week of kid-free fun in Hawaii isn’t a bad way to celebrate 15 years of marriage.  And all of us (well, minus the furry ones) determined that Disney World is, indeed, a magical place and can’t wait to go back.  All in all, it was a full and fun year.
Zach continues to work as a finance manager at State Farm.  He spends his free time running, fixing things around the house, co-coordinating the St. Jude Eureka to Peoria Run, cheering for the Bears, having tea parties, playing trains, disregarding household rules, and generally being the more fun parent.

I continue to work two days a week as a pediatric occupational therapist at the Children’s Hospital.  I spend the rest of my days at home playing with the kids, keeping the house picked up, doing laundry, volunteering at school and church, and juggling our ever-expanding calendar of birthday parties, school events, church programs, and extracurricular activities.  I manage to squeeze in the occasional run and sometimes even get to take an uninterrupted shower.

Staley is just about to turn 6 years old.  (Whoever thought that having a child a few weeks after Christmas was a good idea wasn’t really thinking it through.  Good-bye Christmas.  Hello party planning.)  Staley started Kindergarten this year and LOVES it!  I guess when some of your favorite activities include learning, reading, doing crafts, following rules, doing science experiments, and playing with other kids, Kindergarten is sort of made for you. Through a variety of extracurricular activities this year, we’ve determined that soccer is not her thing, but acting just might be.  Staley also loves singing, dancing, pretending, arts and crafts, being in charge, and planning.   On the other hand, she doesn’t love veggies, uncomfortable clothing, getting up early, being told what to do, and moving quickly.  She is a sweet, stubborn, independent, helpful little girl who is growing up way too fast.

While Staley is almost 6, Adelie is quickly approaching 4.  Although she is often lamenting the fact that she is not old enough to do everything Staley can do, she does her best to keep up.  Luckily she has 2 mornings of pre-school and a weekly gymnastics class to fill some of her time while Staley is away at school.  She is confident and social, making friends wherever we go. She loves mermaids, Barbies, books, and crafts.  She does not love sitting still, being quiet, or doing anything that involves sitting still and being quiet.  She’s lots of fun, but definitely keeps us on our toes.

At 21 months, Briggs is evolving from a baby into a little boy.  He is walking, talking, making connections, and learning new things every day, like how to throw tantrums when things aren’t going his way.  (Hello, 2’s!)  He loves anything with wheels, books (especially about things with wheels), and his sisters.  I’m guessing he wishes they had wheels too.  He doesn’t love being told ‘no’, sharing his favorite toys, waiting, or having to stop a fun activity.  (Refer to sentence about throwing tantrums.)  He’s changing quickly, but generally remains a happy, cuddly, easy-going, sweet little guy.

Jake and Elwood are still alive.  Not much has changed with them in the past 14 years.  They still shed, sleep, get in boxes, and generally only make an appearance after the kids have gone to bed.  Sometimes the kids ask if we can get a cat.  I remind them that we already have 2.  They’re not convinced.

As we say good-bye to 2016, there will be lots of great memories.  Disney.  Hawaii.  Michigan.  St. Louis.  Kindergarten.  Pre-school.  Those 3 games the Bears won.  And sure, there are plenty of other moments that we might as well forget.  Tantrums.  Tears.  Whining.  Tattling.  That time Briggs pooped in the tub.  But in the midst of it all, we are healthy.  We are happy.  We are surrounded by loving family and friends.  And there is no doubt, we are blessed!  Wishing the same for you this holiday season.

Ellen, Zach, Staley, Adelie, and Briggs

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